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WorldModi surges to victory in India on Hindu-first platform

04:55  24 may  2019
04:55  24 may  2019 Source:   msn.com

Vote counting begins in India, Modi expected to hold power

Vote counting begins in India, Modi expected to hold power Indian election officials have begun counting votes that were cast in the country's mammoth general elections. The count began Thursday morning and was expected to conclude by the evening. Exit polls showed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party remaining in power for another five years. His economic reforms haven't broadly succeeded but his popularity has endured.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to build a "strong and inclusive" country as the charismatic but polarizing leader swept back to power in the world's largest democracy with an even bigger mandate than he won five years ago. "Thank you India ," the prime minister tweeted.

NEW DELHI — Narendra Modi , the most dominating and divisive prime minister India has produced in decades, powered his way Thursday toward this nation’s biggest re-election win in decades. His brand of brawny Hindu nationalism and pro-business policies seem to have played stunningly well

Modi surges to victory in India on Hindu-first platform© The Associated Press Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah greet supporters on arrival at the party headquarters in New Delhi, India, Thursday, May 23, 2019. Modi's Hindu nationalist party claimed it won reelection with a commanding lead in Thursday's vote count, while the head of the main opposition party conceded a personal defeat that signaled the end of an era for modern India's main political dynasty. (AP Photo)

NEW DELHI — Narendra Modi, India's charismatic but polarizing prime minister, was headed Friday for a landslide election victory, propelling his Hindu nationalist party to back-to-back majorities in parliament for the first time in decades.

The Latest: Early results show Modi's party in clear lead

The Latest: Early results show Modi's party in clear lead The Latest on India's general elections results (all times local):9 a.m.Early results are showing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist party in the lead in India's general elections.Election Commission data showed the Bharatiya Janata Party leading in contests for 229 seats, with its main rival, the Indian National Congress, ahead in 56 contests. The count that started Thursday was expected to conclude by the evening. In the world's largest democratic exercise, some 900 million people were registered to cast ballots for 542 seats in India's lower house of Parliament in seven phases of voting staggered over six weeks.

+ Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ’s party claimed it had won reelection with a commanding Modi himself tweeted: “ India wins yet again.” The election has been seen as a referendum on Critics have said his Hindu - first platform risks exacerbating social tensions in the country of 1.3 billion people.

Official data from India ’s Election Commission showed Modi ’s Hindu -nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) “The party is heading for a stunning victory in West Bengal,” said Jayprakash Majumdar, a BJP vice president in the state. Indian stocks surged to historic highs as Modi headed for victory .

With most of the votes counted, Modi's stunning re-election mirrored a global trend of right-wing populists sweeping to victory, from the United States to Brazil to Italy, often on a platform promoting a tough stand on national security, protectionist trade policies and putting up barriers to immigration.

The victory in India was widely seen as a referendum on Modi's Hindu-first politics that some observers say have bred intolerance toward Muslims and other religious minorities, as well as his muscular stance on neighboring Pakistan, with whom India nearly went to war earlier this year.

Modi's party has commanding lead as Indian votes are counted

Modi's party has commanding lead as Indian votes are counted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party had a commanding lead as votes were counted after the general election. The stock market soared in anticipation of another term for the Hindu nationalist leader. Election Commission data showed the Bharatiya Janata Party leading in contests for 291 seats in Parliament, with the Congress party ahead in 50 contests. The count was expected to conclude by Thursday evening. The election has been seen as a referendum on Modi, whose economic reforms have had mixed results but whose popularity as a social underdog in India's highly stratified society has endured.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has surged to a majority on his own in India ’s general election, with his Bharatiya Janata Party establishing a commanding lead in vote counting. " India wins yet again," Modi said in a tweet. BJP supporters have begun celebrating in the streets as the party.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has surged to a majority on his own in India ’s general election, with his Bharatiya Janata Party establishing a commanding lead in vote counting. " India wins yet again," Modi said in a tweet. BJP supporters have begun celebrating in the streets as the party.

"India wins yet again," Modi exulted in a tweet.

Election Commission data by Friday morning showed Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party winning 287 out of the 525 seats in the Lok Sabha, India's lower house of Parliament, well beyond the simple majority required to govern. The party's top rival, the Indian National Congress led by Rahul Gandhi, won 50 seats. Its president, and the scion of modern India's most powerful political dynasty, personally conceded his seat to BJP, signaling the end of an era.

The All India Trinamool Congress led by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee won 19 seats. Final results were not in for the remaining 42 seats and the final tally was not expected until later Friday.

Addressing thousands of party workers celebrating the outcome, Modi urged the world to "recognize India's democratic power." He attributed the party's showing to his policies aimed at improving the lot of the nation's poor, including free medical insurance, relief for distressed farmers and a highly popular program to build 100 million toilets in a nation where basic sanitation remains a major problem.

Pakistan says it has test-fired nuclear-capable missile

Pakistan says it has test-fired nuclear-capable missile Pakistan's military says it has successfully test-fired a long-range ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. A statement from the military says the surface-to-surface Shaheen-II missile, which has a range of 1,500 kilometers, or 932 miles, was launched on Thursday and ended in the Arabian Sea. The announcement comes after a six-week general election in neighboring India, Pakistan's chief regional rival. Both nations have nuclear arms and have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947. They regularly test-fire missiles.

"Thank you India !" Modi tweeted on Thursday. "The faith placed in our alliance is humbling and gives us strength to work even harder to fulfill people's As for what a landslide victory for the BJP could mean for India , critics have said Modi ’s Hindu - first platform risks exacerbating social tensions in the

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has surged to a majority on his own in India ’s general election, with his Bharatiya Janata Party establishing a commanding lead in vote counting. " India wins yet again," Modi said in a tweet. BJP supporters have begun celebrating in the streets as the party.

The election victory was a resounding endorsement of the 68-year-old Modi, whose economic reforms have had mixed results but whose background as a social underdog from a lower-caste Hindu family clearly inspired some in India's highly stratified society, appealing to tens of millions of Indians seeking upward mobility. Critics have said his Hindu-first platform risks exacerbating social tensions in the country of 1.3 billion people.

Since Modi led the Bharatiya Janata Party to power in 2014, Hindu mobs have lynched dozens of Muslims and lower-caste Dalits — people in India's strict social hierarchy once considered "untouchable" — for consuming or slaughtering cows, which Hindus consider sacred.

Modi has largely shown complacency toward rising incidents of violence and discrimination against minorities, and to rhetoric like that of his party's president, who called mainly Muslim Bangladeshi migrants to India "termites," or one of BJP's candidates for parliament, who described peace activist Mahatma Gandhi's assassin as a "patriot." Activists, lawyers, journalists and academics have been harassed and even prosecuted under anti-terrorism and anti-sedition laws that Human Rights Watch calls draconian.

Special Briefing: How Modi Just Made History

Special Briefing: How Modi Just Made History Armed with a landslide win, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now India's most popular leader in decades. Will he continue on his controversial course?

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has surged to a majority on his own in India ’s general election, with his Bharatiya Janata Party establishing a commanding lead in vote counting. " India wins yet again," Modi said in a tweet. BJP supporters have begun celebrating in the streets as the party.

An Indian supporter of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi 's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) celebrates the election results outside the BJP NEW DELHI — India ’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed victory Thursday in the country’s elections, promising an “inclusive” future after his Hindu nationalist

But on the campaign trail, Modi seized on his personal narrative, presenting himself as a self-made man with the confidence to cut red tape and unleash India's economic potential, and labeling Congress party president Rahul Gandhi as an out-of-touch member of the elite. This resonated in India, where an anti-corruption movement helped lead to the ouster of Congress partly for the perceived excesses of the Gandhi family, and for the bloated and inefficient bureaucracies Congress ran as the ruling party for nearly a half-century after independence.

Gandhi conceded defeat for his own parliamentary seat to his BJP rival in Amethi, a constituency in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh that had for decades been a Congress party bastion. But Indian election rules allow candidates to run in more than one constituency, and Gandhi was ahead in the race for another seat he contested in the southern state of Kerala.

Even before the election commission had released any official results, calls came in from around the world — U.S. President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Zinping, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu— rushing to congratulate Modi.

An estimated 600 million voters cast ballots in India's six-week polls, a testimony to the vibrancy of the world's largest democracy just 72 years since India won independence from British colonial rule.

Fire in shopping centre in India kills at least seven

Fire in shopping centre in India kills at least seven A fire broke out in a shopping centre in India on Friday killing at least seven people, a fire service official said. Television channels said some people had jumped off the building in the western city of Surat to escape from the fire. Sudhir Gadhvi, a city fire brigade official, said up to 25 people were trapped in the complex. “Our firefighting teams are at the site and working to rescue them,” Gadhvi told Reuters by telephone. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter he was thinking of the bereaved families. "Extremely anguished by the fire tragedy in Surat," Modi said.

INDIAN Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken a commanding lead in the Indian elections, as votes continue to be counted - here are the results in full. India elections results: Narendra Modi 's BJP has taken the lead (Image: REUTERS). This would give it the first back-to-back majority for a single party

NARENDRA Modi has claimed a landslide election victory in India overriding his campaign which was mired with violence and almost shattered by the war Critics have said his Hindu - first platform risks exacerbating social tensions in the country of 1.3 billion people. But despite pressure from soaring

Voters expressed confidence that Modi could jumpstart India's stalling economy, despite his poor first-term record and failure to deliver on his pledge to create jobs.

The BJP harnessed social media, including Twitter, where Modi has 47.4 million followers, and WhatsApp to reach out to millions of supporters.

Modi also capitalized on a suicide bombing in Kashmir in February that killed 40 Indian soldiers. India retaliated with airstrikes at alleged terrorist training camps in Pakistan, fanning the flames of nationalism and helping the BJP turn voters' attention away from the flailing economy and onto matters of national security.

As votes were being counted across India, Pakistan's military said it successfully test-fired a long-range ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

Tensions with Pakistan "gave him the narrative he needed to counter all these allegations of non-performance, unemployment and rural distress. It reenergized him and enabled him to reclaim his image as a strong leader India needs at this juncture," political commentator Arti Jerath said.

The BJP's performance "is absolutely stunning. Modi is the predominant leader in India today. He has pushed everybody else aside. Nobody in the opposition is a match for him," Jerath added.

Trends in the election data suggest that BJP's strategy of pursuing an aggressive campaign in eastern India paid off, with the party breaking into the citadels of Trinamool Congress Party in West Bengal state and the Biju Janata Dal in Odisha state.

The biggest losers appear to be the Communists who ruled West Bengal state for 34 years until they were ousted by Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress Party in 2011. Coalition partners of the Congress-led government in New Delhi between 2004 and 2008, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) was leading in only three constituencies and the Communist Party of India in two constituencies.

Outside BJP headquarters in New Delhi, hundreds of people cheered and shouted party slogans, lifting cardboard cutouts of Modi and BJP President Amit Shah into the air as other people played drums and set off fireworks.

Mohit Sharma, a 29-year-old who runs a bathroom fittings business, said India had never had a prime minister like Modi.

"In the past, when leaders after they won elections, they sat in air-conditioned rooms and they never reached out to people, but Modi was never like that. He was always connected to the people through social media," Sharma said.

___

Associated Press writers Rishabh R. Jain, Bharatha Mallawarachi and Ashok Sharma contributed to this report.

Read More

Narendra Modi sworn in for second term as India's Prime Minister.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was formally sworn in Thursday for a second straight term in office, following a landslide victory in national elections that cemented his grip on power in the world's largest democracy. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Modi, his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and their allies won a total of 349 seats out of 545 in the Parliament's lower house earlier this month.

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